Frictional driving mechanism based on wave propagation (1st report, measurement and simulation of earthworm locomotion)

Takashi Maeno, Nobutoshi Yamazaki, Tadanori Tachikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


An earthworm moves on the ground by propagating an expansion/contraction wave of its own body. Friction force due to the propagating wave is produced at the contact surface. In this study we measure in detail the locomotion pattern of the earthworm when it moves straight on two plane plates having a different friction coefficient. The amplitude, period, duration, and phase of the propagating wave on the earthworm are measured. Then we calculate numerically the locomotion pattern of the earthworm using a simple model consisting of the body which can expand and contract and normal and tangential contact springs at the surface of the body. It is found that the waveform of the actual earthworm is adequate for producing locomotion with high efficiency and velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4264-4271
Number of pages8
JournalNippon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, C Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part C
Issue number603
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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